Elder Lifestyle Realities with Heart Failure
The physical challenges of heart failure make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This, in turn, can worsen a failing heart.
In-home care helps clients stay on track of their health management routine — and provides peace of mind for families, as well.
What lifestyle realities should elderly parents expect when experiencing a weakened heart muscle?
— Medications. Heart failure patients may need to keep track of a number of medications to treat their condition. (This is in addition to any drugs required for other health conditions.) In-home caregivers can assist with pill boxes and other medication reminders. Also, on occasion, take clients to the pharmacy or pick up prescriptions.
— Diet. Most seniors with heart failure are prescribed a special diet. In-home caregivers can go to the grocery store and prepare nutritious meals following the doctor’s recommendations. Switching from salty, processed foods to a diet with fresh, healthy ingredients is easier with the help of a caregiver.
— Medical appointments. Doctor visits, cardiac rehabilitation sessions, smoking cessation classes, counseling for depression. Almost all these appointments happen during the day, when family members often are at work. In-home caregivers will help elderly clients keep track of these appointments. And secondly, provide transportation and assist with navigating the often-challenging care regimen.
— Exercise. Most patients will receive a “prescription” for an appropriate exercise routine. Caregivers provide encouragement, assistance and an extra level of confidence by accompanying clients on walks, reminding them to do their prescribed exercises, and setting up exercise equipment and exercise videos.
— Housekeeping and laundry. Some household tasks are challenging and may be prohibited for people with heart failure. In-home caregivers keep the home clean and in good order and remove fall hazards. And if bathing, dressing and grooming are difficult, professional caregivers can help. Depression is a common side effect of heart failure … but feeling clean and well-dressed is a great emotional boost!
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164